Stability and change of foreign policy values among élites: effects of the “9/11 attacks” and second gulf war against iraq on élites' values by Dukhong Kim, Ph. D., Florida Atlantic University-Boca Raton abstract



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Data and Measurement

For the analysis of U.S. élites’ values, this study uses three surveys sponsored by the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations (CCFR) in 1998, 2002 and 2004. Respondents to the surveys include foreign policy leaders from various institutions and organizations. They include policy-makers (government officials from the executive branch and members of the Senate and House), members of interest groups (business and labor organizations), educators from universities, members of foreign policy think tanks and private foreign policy organizations, members of religious organizations and members of the mass-media (newspapers, magazines and TV). Although the foreign policy élites are not selected through randomization, the respondents represent members of major social and political organizations, plus institutions involved in foreign policy-making. The number of respondents in each survey varies: 379, 397 and 450 in 1998, 2002 and 2004 respectively. Compared to the previous surveys, the survey of 2004 includes more than the usual number of respondents from House and Senate. Thus, whenever the statistical means are presented for 2004, the weight which takes into account the over-sampling of the members of the House and Senate has been used to make the statistics mean for 2004 comparable to other years.

An important advantage of these surveys is that the élites were asked the same questions as the public on various foreign policy issues and values. Owing to this, it is possible to examine the effect of political events on élites’ acceptance of values in comparative perspective. In addition, as the surveys were conducted before and after major political events - the “9/11 Terrorist Attacks” and the Second Gulf War invasion of Iraq - it is possible to examine the impact of these events on values. Although these surveys are not panel data, they provide us with an opportunity to capture the effect of these rare political events on élites’ foreign policy values.
Measures

The dependent variables are four values: humanitarianism, democracy, militarism and domestic interest.



  1. To construct the humanitarianism measure, this study uses two items from the questionnaire. The questions ask respondents whether “combating world hunger” and “helping to improve the standard of living of less developed nations” should be a “very important”, “somewhat important” or “not at all important” as foreign policy goal. These two questions are moderately correlated and their correlation remains stable over the years. The simple Pearson’s correlations between these two items are .50, .51 and .48 in 1998, 2002 and 2004 respectively. The two items are added linearly to construct a scale of humanitarianism.

  2. To measure democracy, a question is used that asks respondents whether “helping to bring a democratic form of government in other countries” should be an important U.S. foreign policy goal.

  3. To measure militarism, the following question was used: Should “maintaining the superior military power worldwide” be an important foreign policy goal or not.

  4. For national economic interest, two questions were used: “protecting the jobs of American workers” and “securing adequate supplies of energy” should be an important foreign policy goal or not. The correlations between these two items are .28, .25 and .24 in 1998, 2002 and 2004 respectively.

  5. Partisanship is measured by using the traditional question asking respondents what is their partisan affiliation. Partisanship has three categories: Democrats, Republicans and Independents.

  6. To measure ideology, the question used asks respondents to identify their ideological stance on a 5 points scale from strong Liberal to strong Conservative.

Since the category of jobs or affiliations provides important information about whether élites are members of government organizations that directly participate in the decision-making, that question is used to create a dichotomous variable: decision-making role. The question asks respondents to indicate their job categories. It includes élites from the administration, House, Senate, educators, private foreign policy organizations (e.g., labor organizations, business organizations and religious organizations), mass-media and think-tanks.3 If leaders are members of the administration, House or Senate, they are included in the decision-making group, otherwise they are coded as a “non-decision-making” members.

Unlike the mass public, the sample of élites is fairly homogeneous in terms of education level. Although there is no data on education in 2002, the data in 1998 and 2004 reveal that all the élites have at least some college education. Thus, the variable—education—has been excluded in the model. In addition, the information on racial and ethnic identity is not available. Thus, the basic demographic variables include only “gender” and “age.”


Findings

  1. Values Change in Aggregate Level

In this section, this study briefly describes the statistics of these values over several years before going into the results from the interaction model estimations. Table 1 shows the means of these values in each year. In 1998 militarism was the most popular value (.74) and democracy-promotion the least popular (.58) one.4 Humanitarianism and National economic interest were located in the middle of the list. By 2002 humanitarianism continues to be the most popular value (.73). Although democracy-promotion is still least popular (.62), it gained support compared to 1998. The magnitude of increase .04 is actually the largest among these values by 2002. Paradoxically, those traditional values that reflect Realists’ perspective lost their support after the “9/11 Terrorist Attacks” but Idealism gained their support among élites. In addition, the invasion of Iraq influenced élites’ attachment to these values. Thereafter, humanitarianism gained largest support and become the most popular value (.82), while democracy-promotion shrank back to the level of 1998. Élites’ belief in militarism also suffered significantly (.61): compared to 1998, élites lost their belief in militarism by 13%, which is the largest change among the values studied. The controversial 2003 invasion of Iraq and the long post-war peacekeeping against local bloody insurgencies in both Iraq and Afghanistan significantly undermined the élites’ attachment to militarism. However, its negative effect on national interest remains very limited. These findings suggest that political event do influence élites’ belief in values in aggregate level, but such influence is selective. Only humanitarianism and militarism changed significantly after the experience of the Second Gulf War against Iraq and the dragging of it over almost a decade. The picture of change of values will become clearer once this study moves to the individual level analysis since this descriptive statistics can mask differences by individual level variables.


Table 1: Mean and Mean Changes of Values among U.S. Élites


 

1998

2002

2004

Humanitarianism







Mean

0.71

0.73

0.82

(st. dev)

(0.25)

(0.26)

(0.23)

N

376

397

446

Democracy







0.58

0.62

0.57




(0.3)

(0.31)

(0.33)




377

397

445

Militarism







0.74

0.71

0.61




(0.33)

(0.33)

(0.35)




377

396

448

National Economic interest







0.72

0.67

0.71




(0.24)

(0.25)

(0.25)

 

376

393

439



b. Partisanship and Values Change

To evaluate the effects of political events on values over the years in a single model, this essay pools three surveys. The estimation results are presented in Table 2 below. In these model estimations, the base category is year 1998 as a dummy variable with Non-decision-making and Republicans. So the effect of the year dummy variable is the comparative effect of the years of 2002 and 2004. Similarly, the interaction terms should be interpreted in comparison to 1998, Non-decision-making Republicans. The first hypothesis states that partisanship conditions the effect of political events on decision-makers’ beliefs in Idealist values.



The first column of Table 2 shows the estimation results of the model for humanitarianism. Since this model estimation shows that there are meaningful three way interactions among events, partisanship and élite’s role in decision-making, the interpretation of the coefficients is complicated. Thus, using figures helps our understanding of the results more intuitive way. These figures are based on the estimation results. The predicted values for the dependent variables were obtained by setting other control variables at their mean or median and using the coefficients for each group.5

Table 2: Interaction of Partisanship, Events and Sophistication in Accounting for Values




Humanitarianism

Democracy Prom.

Militarism

National Int.

Year: 2002

-0.08*

-0.08

-0.02

-0.08*




(0.04)

(0.05)

(0.05)

(0.04)

Year: 2004

0.03

0.01

0.03

-0.07




(0.04)

(0.05)

(0.05)

(0.04)

Independents

-0.01

-0.07

0.03

-0.03




(0.04)

(0.05)

(0.05)

(0.04)

Democrats

0.02

0.03

0.05

-0.02




(0.04)

(0.05)

(0.05)

(0.04)

Decision-Maker

-0.12*

0.04

0.10

-0.03




(0.05)

(0.07)

(0.06)

(0.05)

Ideology (high=lib.)

0.06***

0.00

-0.14***

-0.01




(0.01)

(0.01)

(0.01)

(0.01)

Gender (female=1)

-0.04*

0.06**

0.04

-0.03




(0.02)

(0.02)

(0.02)

(0.02)

Age

0.02***

-0.02**

-0.00

0.01




(0.01)

(0.01)

(0.01)

(0.01)

Year: 2002 * Independents

0.12*

0.16*

-0.03

0.05




(0.05)

(0.07)

(0.07)

(0.05)

Year: 2002 * Democrats

0.11*

0.11

-0.01

0.01




(0.05)

(0.06)

(0.06)

(0.05)

Year: 2004 * Independents

0.11*

0.00

-0.24***

0.06




(0.05)

(0.07)

(0.07)

(0.06)

Year: 2004 * Democrats

0.09*

-0.08

-0.20**

0.09




(0.05)

(0.06)

(0.06)

(0.05)

Year: 2002 * Decision-Maker

0.24***

0.20*

-0.04

0.09




(0.07)

(0.09)

(0.09)

(0.07)

Year: 2004 * Decision-Maker

0.20**

0.13

-0.04

0.11




(0.07)

(0.09)

(0.09)

(0.07)

Independents * Decision-Maker

0.18*

0.09

-0.08

-0.05




(0.08)

(0.11)

(0.11)

(0.09)

Democrats * Decision-Maker

0.15*

0.03

-0.03

0.10




(0.06)

(0.09)

(0.08)

(0.07)

Year: 2002 * Ind * Decision-Maker

-0.27*

-0.19

0.07

-0.10




(0.11)

(0.15)

(0.15)

(0.13)

Year: 2002 * Demo * Decision- Maker

-0.23**

-0.09

0.05

-0.06




(0.09)

(0.12)

(0.12)

(0.10)

Year: 2004 * Indep * Decision-Maker

-0.34**

-0.21

0.30*

-0.03




(0.11)

(0.14)

(0.14)

(0.12)

Year: 2004 * Demo * Decision-Maker

-0.26**

-0.11

0.06

-0.17




(0.09)

(0.12)

(0.12)

(0.10)

(Intercept)

0.45***

0.61***

1.12***

0.75**




(0.05)

(0.06)

(0.06)

(0.05)

R2

0.19

0.08

0.26

0.03

N

1159

1159

1161

1151

*** p < 0.001; ** p < 0.01; * p < 0.05; + p < 0.1; two tailed; OLS estimation results.
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